Food - Drink
The Only Places That Produce True Mortadella
Since its introduction to the U.S. by German immigrant Oskar Ferdinand Mayer, bologna has been a beloved sandwich staple, but this cold cut seems pretty far from fancy charcuterie. However, bologna is descended from mortadella, a porky Italian sausage that is so special, it can only be produced in a certain region of the country.
Some of Italy's special foods are protected under a PGI (Protected Geographical Identification) distinction, meaning that these foods have to be produced in a certain region to be considered authentic. Real mortadella, bologna's ancestor, must be made in the city of Bologna, capital of the Emilia-Romagna region.
Mortadella also must be made from pigs raised in Pianura Padana valley; specifically, ground pork and chunks of fat from the pig's jowls are made into the smooth, emulsified sausage with a garlicky flavor and silky texture. There's even an annual "Mortadella, Please" Festival in Zola Predosa, the birthplace of the cold cut.